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US veteran fights to live ‘off the grid’; threatened for not using city utilities

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A military veteran is trying to prove you can fight city hall to maintain his independence after the city filed suit against him for an “unsafe” lifestyle.

Tyler Truitt and his girlfriend Soraya Hamar of Huntsville, Ala., say they are being punished for living “off the grid” inside city limits.

“We live out here off the grid, 100 percent self-sustaining,” Truitt told Fox 6 in Birmingham. “So I basically made all my utilities: I have my solar panels, I have my rainwater collections and stuff.”

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All that self-sufficiency is making city officials restless. Truitt sees the lawsuit as a violation of the freedom he fought for, and he wants the government to back off.

“I just don’t see how were hurting anyone by being here,” he said.

It doesn’t help Truitt’s case that the city also deemed his dwelling a trailer – something that is also not allowed within city limits, according to the station.

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“They came and they condemned our house and told us if we stayed here we’d be arrested for trespassing on our own property, and the reason why is, they said, it was unsafe living conditions because we don’t have city utilities hooked up,” Truitt said.

Truitt plans to fight the city’s lawsuit.

“You have to stand up for what you believe in,” Truitt explained.

“They could come out here today if they wanted to and take us to jail for trespassing if that’s what they want to call it and, you know, that’d be fine with me.

“I’ll still come back the next day and the next day and the next day because it’s my home and because I live here. Where else am I supposed to go really?”

The city responded to the news report on Monday.

“Apparently he has chosen to live an alternative lifestyle and that’s great, people can choose to live different ways but if you live in the city of Huntsville you do have to abide by our laws and ordinance,” said Kelly Schrimsher, spokeswoman for the Huntsville mayor’s office.

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Truitt maintains he should be able to live the way he wants to and told Fox 6 that his property is “out of sight, out of mind.”

Fox 6 received an email from Huntsville officials stating that while they encourage “environmental living,” it’s Truitt’s compliance with building codes that is more of an issue.

“I’m sure there are other areas and properties in the country that if you wanted to choose a different lifestyle you could do so,” Schrimsher said.

 

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